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BARTER: TEN BILLION DOLLAR BUSINESS

 NEW YORK, June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The biggest business in the world? "It's barter," says Brent Garber, president and trade director of Business Exchange, a 10 billion dollar industry that's starting to boom right here in New York.
 The reason is simple, according to Garber, "In slow times like these, every business has excess inventory and unused capacity. All it takes is a middle man like us to put deals together."
 Apparently so, since Business Exchange International, commonly called BX or BXI, whose headquarters are Los Angeles based, has been particularly aggressive during the recession. Growth, both in sales volume and number of offices open has more than doubled in the past two years," according to Saul Yarmack, chairman of BXI. The company now boasts 60 offices nationwide and opened in New York little more than a year ago.
 "New Yorkers have seen it all," says Garber, who, with the backing of Corporate BX, opened the local office," and I can tell you they're very distrustful of barter. No doubt in part because 15 local barter exchanges have gone belly up in the New York region in the last 15 years."
 Fortunately, according to Garber, BX has overcome this skepticism with its unique approach; barter by telephone directory. The idea being that if you're on the up and up, as BX claims, you have nothing to hide. "Our membership is an open secret," says Garber. "In fact, all of our offices have directories (which are also computerized) and you can `trade' literally with any of our 28,000 members nationwide."
 Just how complicated? Not very. In that BX keeps track of 28,000 members' transactions via a main frame computer and use of an 800- number. "We alone have it," says Garber: "You make a barter purchase by simply filling out a BX barter check -- not unlike a bank check. Then the seller calls the 800-number and the computer approves (or disapproves) the transaction and does all the record keeping. Not to mention adding a 10 percent fee for our services."
 Sounds easy. "Not really," says Garber. "We've had to prove ourselves every step of the way to get our first 500 members. Of course, now that they see we're for real and here to stay, we're really starting to grow."
 Indeed they are. Directory listings include everything from newspaper advertising, telephone systems, attorneys, cookware, dry cleaning, furs and gift baskets to jewelry, locksmiths, models, photo labs, restaurants, printers and a skip tracer (to name a few).
 "And this is nothing," concludes Garber. "Give me a year and if our office grows as fast as the others in the BX system, I'll have 2000 members and barter deals you wouldn't believe!" And he just might, since apparently bad times are good times in the barter business.
 -0- 6/23/93
 /CONTACT: Bob Stack of BX International Inc., 212-750-3434/


CO: BX International, Inc. ST: New York IN: SU:

MP-LR -- NY056 -- 5212 06/23/93 15:10 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 23, 1993
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